Neptune, which is the eighth planet in the Solar System is found between Uranus and Pluto and occasionally, it’s known as the Blue Giant. With a diameter of approximately 49,500 kilometers in diameter Neptune is almost four times the size of the Earth. The distance between the Earth and Neptune is about 4. 4 billion kilometers and thus, you cannot see it with your naked eyes. Even in the event that you use the binoculars, you can’t see the planet nicely. Below we will discuss some of the compelling facts about Neptune.
Neptune was observed by the astronomers from ancient times including Galileo. Nonetheless, Galileo didn’t comprehend he was seeing a planet. In ancient times, we did not have powerful telescopes to help the astronomers and researchers discern planets. Thus, when they discovered Neptune, the astronomers did not note the disk shape of the planet.
The astronomers and investigators found this planet using mathematical calculations. In 1843, an astronomer and mathematician in Britain was key in calculating the location of Neptune. Based on the calculations, the astronomer estimated that Neptune had been one billion kilometers farther away from the Sun compared to Uranus. Another French astronomer did the calculations and got similar results to the British astronomer. Using the calculations developed by the French Astronomer, Johann C. Galle discovered Neptune in September 23, 1846. Since their calculations were instrumental its discovery, it was attributed to the French and British astronomers.
Because of its blue appearance, Neptune was named after the Roman god of the sea. Its naming follows the remaining planets of the solar system that are named after Roman gods.
Iron, nickel and other silicates make up this planet. Methane, ammonia, water, and other chemical substances make up the mantle of Neptune. Neptune’s mantle is quite hot with temperatures that range from 3000 to 5000K. The atmosphere is made up of eighty percent hydrogen, 19% of helium and 1 percent of methane, water, and ammonia.
The blue color which characterizes this planet is a result of the presence of methane in its atmosphere. It absorbs the red light that comes from the sunlight then reflects it in the color blue in space.
Thirteen moons that revolve around Neptune till now have been discovered by astronomers and researchers. It is possible that there are more moons which are yet to be discovered.
The first spaceship to get to Neptune was known as the Voyager 2, and it did in 1989. It took images of the planet which helped the researchers in discovering that the planet has five rings. These rings are; Adams, Galle, LeVerrier, Lassel, and Arago. Folks believe that these rings formed a single planet after one of those Neptune moons got near and divided into countless particles as a result of the gravity in Neptune.
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